By Joyce Rubotham
Trinity College opened up its doors for a very special event recently, as the children and their furry pals attended a Teddy Bear Hospital.
The hospital aimed to help alleviate childhood anxieties around medical procedures with this free event and each child’s particular needs or worries and the name of their teddy, was taken into account.
Niamh O’Flynn, the Teddy Bear Hospital coordinator, described how the event is also beneficial to the students who created it.
Niamh said: “It gives us all an opportunity to experience the fears our patients may face and reminds us of the real reason we spend all that time in the library.”
Each child attended the Admissions desk at the Teddy Bear Hospital, where they received a medical record for their childhood friend.
Teddies and children then passed through seven stations, each one with a particular theme. Children learnt about first aid, surgery and hospital life.
A particular favourite was the Teddy Bear MRI scanner.
Over 50 student volunteers from various healthcare disciplines came together to create the hospital, a place of safety and hope for the children.
The Teddy Bear Hospital was not just about illness. There was a strong emphasis on illness prevention through healthy lifestyle.
Nutrition, mindfulness and exercise were strong themes highlighted during the event.
Children were served fresh fruit and encouraged to participate and engage with volunteers, who were full of energy and enthusiasm.
Teddy-Bear X-rays were produced and some Teddies even underwent surgery while others had drips inserted into their arms.
Two children’s charities were present at the event. The BUMBLEance ambulance was stationed outside the hospital and children were invited to take a tour of the vehicle.
Volunteers from Children In Hospital Ireland greeted and chatted with children and parents alike.
This is the first year that Trinity College’s Paediatric society organised the event and they hope to make the Teddy Bear Hospital an annual theme.